UH AH, CHAVEZ IS NOT LEAVING!
Whilst his slogan should immediately give you some clue that this man has some dictator-type tendencies, there are many here that consider him a god. One guy on hearing that we were from South Africa was quick to point out - “Ahh, Chavez is doing a lot for your country.” We almost believed him, until his next question was whether South Africa bordered with the United States.
After 4 memorable months, it was finally time to say goodbye to Brazil and hello to Venezuela - the land of free petrol and no eggs.
Venezuela is an interesting, but not too welcoming of a place to visit. Political tension is always in the air and the communist mood is inescapable. We had to quickly get used to societal climate change - coming from the warm, caring Brazilian people to the cold, unconcerned Venezuelans.
The socialist president, Hugo Chavez, recently said something along the lines of “what the Americans don’t understand is that Hugo Chavez is not just Chavez, Hugo Chavez is Venezuela”, and whilst he may be slightly delusional, he is certainly doing a good job of convincing the majority of the population. Using the country’s wealth of oil money to finance his so-called “revolution”, he has also made sure his picture is everywhere, and alongside everything the government is constructing (even the simplest of road-works) there is always a huge billboard with his face on it.
However, at the time we were there, he had just very controversially shut down one of the major TV channels, and the tide seemed to perhaps be changing direction.
Before leaving Brazil we were advised to carry lots of Brazilian chocolates with us to make the numerous army check-points a lot smoother. However, at this checkpoint, while Tom was busy with the paperwork, Liba somehow managed to smooth-talk this soldier into actually giving her some of his chocolates!
One or two people even hinted at the possibility of a real revolution to oust him out of power.
One thing for sure is that on leaving Venezuela we will definitely not miss having his cheesy smile shoved in front of our faces every day.
Odometer at start: 33 900 km
Odometer now: 43 521 km
Tot: 0.695s; Tpl: 0.108s; cc: 21; qc: 109; dbt: 0.0652s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.5mb